Belgian Jews call out official for Nazi collaborator comment

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon (photo credit: CC BY Geert Renckens/Wikipedia)

ANTWERP — A representative of Flemish Jews asked a deputy prime minister of Belgium to clarify statements in which he appeared to condone the actions of Nazi collaborators.

Jan Jambon, who is also Belgium’s interior minister, made the statements during an interview which was published last week in the La Libre Belgique newspaper.

During the interview, Jambon, who is a member of the New Flemish Alliance party, was asked about his participation in 2001 at a rally organized by the far-right association Sint-Maartenfonds, whose mission statement is to support Flemish Belgians who fought on Nazi Germany’s side in World War II.

Commenting about these veterans, he said: “The people who collaborated with the Germans, they had their reasons. I did not live in those times.”

After the October 13 publication of the interview, Jambon rejected any interpretation of his words as condoning Nazism or collaboration with Nazi Germany and apologized to anyone who was offended by them…